October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Read and share stories to honor survivors whose lives have been changed by domestic violence.

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Terri Mawdsley

In memory of Stevie

A few days after my nephew, Stevie, killed himself with a firearm, I was in my local grocery store and overheard two women affectionately complaining about their age twenty-something sons. I thought of my brother and sister-in-law and how they would never have the chance to engage in such conversations again, and I wondered to myself if these mothers knew just how lucky they were to have their sons alive and well enough to annoy them. I avoid that grocery store now. If I must go there, I immediately feel a weight descend on me and my attention is drawn to all the young men browsing the aisles. My anxiety grows as I wonder if any of these young men are feeling the way my nephew did before he shot himself, and I want to save them all. I gain peace by continuing my advocacy in the gun violence prevention movement. I know the work we do may not save all young men from gun violence, but it will save at least one, and that makes it all worthwhile.

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